The 10 Best Swing Sets

Updated March 08, 2018 by Misty Alder

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you want your kids outdoors in the fresh air and away from their smartphones, televisions, computers, and video games, then offer them one of these swing sets as a compelling alternative. Available with a variety of activities, play options and different ways to spark a little one's imagination, they will provide plenty of healthy exercise and fun. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best swing set on Amazon.

10. Little Tikes Tree House

If you've got lively youngsters around, the Little Tikes Tree House is the way to go. It's sized perfectly for smaller backyards, with a lookout deck and a climbing wall to promote active play, and smooth, rounded edges to minimize bumps and bruises along the way.
  • integrated grab handles
  • must be anchored
  • recommended ages 6 and under
Brand Little Tikes
Model 633843M
Weight 152.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Step2 Adventure Lodge

The Step2 Adventure Lodge is fully equipped for any outside playdate. Complete with a backboard for shooting some hoops and a two-person glider to spend some quality time next to their bestie, there's no limit to the prospects for enjoyment.
  • double-wall poly frame
  • multiple stories
  • max weight per swing just 75 lbs
Brand Step2
Model 801400
Weight 203 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Backyard Discovery Skyfort II

Bring the joys and versatility of a multi-component playground home to the kids with the Backyard Discovery Skyfort II. Its all-cedar construction is totally rot-resistant, while the laminated swing beam is equipped with steel clamshell brackets for security.
  • sun balcony with crow's nest
  • 10-foot wavy slide
  • very poor instructions
Brand Backyard Discovery
Model 6113
Weight 720 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Step2 Play Up Jungle Gym

Let your kids' imaginations take the lead in explorations inspired by the Step2 Play Up Jungle Gym. Its small staircase leads to a raised platform with a ship's steering wheel for whimsical play, while an integrated slide allows for both fun and easy exits.
  • improves balance and coordination
  • comes with 4 u-shaped anchors
  • four-child limit
Brand Step2
Model 850000
Weight 155 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

6. Lifetime Adventure Tower

The Lifetime Adventure Tower is the ideal option for engaging young minds and bodies in creative adventures. With its hardtop roof, two chalk boards for plotting a course, a car map and four storefronts, it's a great place to encourage playful learning experiences.
  • won't crack or warp
  • impact resistant skylight
  • ladder rungs are too widely spaced
Brand Lifetime
Model 90440
Weight 500 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Backyard Discovery Castle

Built to withstand heavy duty use, the Backyard Discovery Castle offers multiple features that let a child's imagination run free. Whether they want to have a tea party, a game of tic-tac-toe or storm over the walls to unknown adventures, the options are limitless.
  • overhead shade canopy
  • 6-step climbing tree
  • very solid components
Brand Backyard Discovery
Model 1756014
Weight 618 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure

Get your children outdoors and having fun in no time at all with the Lifetime Big Stuff Adventure. Its stable, freestanding design allows for a quick setup on almost any type of surface, eliminating the need for anchoring or placement on cement.
  • sturdy polyethylene construction
  • ideal for ages 3-12
  • marine quality decking
Brand Lifetime
Model 90137
Weight 704 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Swinging Monkey Giant Saucer

The 40"-wide Swinging Monkey Giant Saucer is covered in a 600-denier oxford fabric, which makes it pretty awesome for just relaxing and watching the clouds go by overhead, but it's also sturdy enough for hanging around with a group of friends.
  • quality engineering
  • easy to install and store
  • one-year warranty
Brand Swinging Monkey Product
Model pending
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Lifetime Adventure

Like a miniature playground for your backyard, the Lifetime Adventure has the right stuff for kids of all ages to get into the swing of things. With all-weather galvanized steel bars and molded plastic caps on the edges for safety, this will provide years of play.
  • trapeze bar with rings
  • rubber grips on chains
  • uv-resistant materials
Brand Lifetime
Model 90143
Weight 248 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Backyard Discovery Kings

The sturdy cedar Backyard Discovery Kings offers plenty of room for hours of entertainment and imaginative play, in which kids can pretend to be captive royals awaiting rescue from the towers, or pirates on the lookout for treasure through the telescope.
  • 2 covered sandboxes
  • play steering wheel
  • raised safety sides on slide
Brand Backyard Discovery
Model 54373
Weight 1030 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

If You Build It, They Will Come

Many years ago, in what seems like a former life, I spent a mild summer assembling children's outdoor play sets with a husband and wife tandem. We also spent some days putting together large quantities of IKEA furniture for offices. Though the work was steady, relatively easy, and it paid decently, it was still a rather tedious and time-consuming experience. On average, it would take the three of us nearly eight to ten hours just to get everything assembled and ready to go. This did not include the time spent leveling out the ground, which is absolutely necessary in order to successfully build one of these big play sets.

If you own a few good tools and you have a history of not losing your mind when trying to assemble furniture, then you can probably put one of these sets together yourself if you don't choose to enlist the help of some friends.

If you don't have the tools or you don't know how to use them, and if your friends are flaky in times like these, save yourself a week of agony and spring for a professional assembly.

A Good Fit For Your Kids

A person's individual sense of aesthetics is bound to recoil at the sight of any play set that crosses the line from point of pride to monstrosity. Where that line is drawn may differ, depending on one's individual preferences. If you have acres of land on which to build, then your line might be drawn closer to something the size of Camelot than to the size of a milk crate, for example.

One must also consider a play set's overall durability. Most of the more elaborate sets are made of wood, where the lasting power of some woods is greater than others. By contrast, the plastic sets vary wildly in quality, but if you see that they're made from High-Density Polyethylene, you can expect a quality build.

Without too many exceptions, the size and durability of a play set are the primary factors in determining its cost, so if you have a specific budget in mind, much of the selection process will have already been done for you.

Finally, you'll want something that fits both your backyard and bank account. Once you've narrowed it down by those criteria, you can let your kids decide, as they're going to be the ones taking advantage of the equipment, after all.

Centuries of Swing

As far back as 1450 B.C.E., we know there were swings, during the ancient Greek era known as Hagia Triada.

The swing's long history would make sense, as there is something pleasing and fulfilling at an almost primal level to the human psyche when it comes to flying forward and upward right up until the very point where you feel you might lose control.

Swings were later used in more portable ways, particularly during the pioneer days of Manifest Destiny. When a caravan would stop to set up camp or hunt, the children were allowed to play, but they were discouraged from roaming too far. To encourage play, parents would take a solid piece of wood along with some rope, find a suitable tree, and set up an impromptu swing set. When they left, they would take it down and bring it with them for the next layover.

The belt swings of today, whose rubber or petroleum-based seats contour more comfortably to swingers' bodies, are safer and more durable than their wooden predecessors, and, depending on the chain used, can support hundreds of pounds.

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Last updated on March 08, 2018 by Misty Alder

Born and raised in the American Deep South, Misty's career in elder care took a sharp left turn when she was swept away to the land of Robinhood by her very own Merry Man. She's a coffee-swilling master of stitch-witchery with a magical touch in the kitchen and a never-ending stream of Disney gag reels playing in her head.

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